Merson launches astonishing attack on “embarrassed” Solskjaer

Paul Merson has launched an astonishing attack on Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following their Europa League final defeat on Wednesday.

United were beaten on penalties by Villarreal after a tight 1-1 draw in Gdansk.

The Red Devils went into the game as relatively large favourites to come away with their first piece of silverware since the last time they lifted the UEFA Cup four years ago.

But ex-Arsenal man Merson thinks Solskjaer ended up getting “embarrassed” by former Gunners manager Unai Emery and his side.

“It was really disappointing for Manchester United on Wednesday night,” Merson told Sky Sports. “Actually, I thought it was shocking, if I’m being honest.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man Utd side failed to beat Villarreal in the Europa League final

“I watched the game and even after extra time, 120 minutes of football, neither goalkeeper had to make a save.

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got embarrassed really. Villarreal made the five substitutions and it was really clever from Unai Emery. They had the fresher legs in extra time, and they didn’t really look like losing.

“They looked the better team and Solskjaer just didn’t react. He just didn’t change it up and they paid the price in the end.”

After finishing second in the Premier League, United are expected to challenge for the title next season.

But Merson admits that he has serious concerns over Solskjaer’s leadership and tactical struggles against sides who sit on the back foot, like Villarreal did.

“They haven’t won the league for eight years now and that can easily turn into nine next year,” he added. “It’s turning into a bit of a worry for United.

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“It’s a hard one because Solskjaer is great for the club. He’s nice.

“Could you imagine Roy Keane as manager at Old Trafford and the board saying we’re not going to buy anyone this year? He would go mad. He would kick up a stink and that is what a top manager would do.

“But with Solskjaer, I don’t see that happening. He’s happy to work with what he’s got. He’s grateful to be there.

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Paul Merson has underlined his concerns about Man Utd going into next season

“This is Manchester United. For me, the top club in the world.

“Straight away, when you are playing a football match at one of the top clubs in the world, you kick off and everyone sits 10 behind the ball. That’s the way it works, and it has always worked like that and always will.

“But, if you look at United’s record, the only time they beat anyone is if teams have a go at them. If a team doesn’t have a go at them, they don’t beat anyone. How does that work? They are supposed to be one of the top teams in the country and if anyone sits 10 behind the ball against them, they struggle.

“It’s a real worry for United and something they need to ponder long and hard this summer.”

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